Working in a small corporate environment can sometimes be detrimental to both the management and logistics personnel. Depending on the type of contract work you prefer doing with your clients, you may or may not have long-term trusted associates to work with.
This can affect your company’s growth in many ways; given that long-term partnerships speak volumes about what kind of business you prefer doing. Whether you prefer long-term or short-term contracts or even if you never shipped overseas, there are still mistakes in logistics abound to be made when logistics are concerned. All it takes is one huge shipment to become lost or mistaken and your company could tank in a matter of months.
There is a lot of revenue involved in each shipment you work with, so professionally and punctuality need to play a huge part. What are some of the worst mistakes in logistics to look out for in order to prevent any bad reputation coming your way?
Improper executive management
Putting a non-logistics person in charge of your logistics operations is asking for trouble. Your personnel should be properly trained and transitioned into each position they work on.
People without logistics experience will likely be lost in the scheduling dates, shipping manifests, and paperwork that comes with it. Mixing up two important documents is a matter of split-second decisions that no one can predict or control.
Even small businesses who work on a tighter budget need to be sure that people that work for them know what they are doing. Your company is not big enough so that a slip up like that can go unnoticed. Carefully transition your personnel into new roles and develop a staff support system that involves cooperation instead of individualization.
You should know exactly how much shipping to and from different countries costs, especially when talking about overseas shipping. Miscalculated costs will come back to your company most of the time and involve revenue losses that you simply can’t afford.
Work on developing longstanding relationships with reliable shipping companies if you don’t have a distribution network of your own. Having these relations under contract will make sure that you and your clients get reliable and sometimes discounted shipping to wherever is needed. The same rule applies for miscalculating the price of your own goods depending on the client’s needs.
Lack of automation
Automation plays a big part in today’s logistics and shipping industry. It’s hard to keep track of all the orders and shipments without adequate software to back it up. Unlike online businesses, such as writing companies, logistics works differently in a way that doesn’t allow for many errors in the process. Your clients will want instant feedback on whether or not a shipment request has been made and when they can expect to get their desired materials or products.
Implementing specialized software is a matter of contacting a software agency that custom-build program packages for specific needs. While it does come with additional costs and maintenance, it will help you avoid a large amount of errors and help you build more stable and consistent relations with your clients.
Bad international shipping plans
Shipping anything physical overseas is a much more complicated process than it initially seems. You need to figure out the cheapest routes and the most reliable shipping agencies that will consider working with you. The logistical part of handling international shipping is more open to error than any other type of business-client delivery.
Before doing any serious shipping to overseas, do some trial runs and inquire about your company’s niche through partners and specialized websites. Knowing what your colleagues are using is a good way to pinpoint the exact means you will use to ship your own content overseas. Failing to do so will result in huge revenue losses, returned shipments or even legal action taken against your company (for whatever reasons).
Not following the market
Staying true to your company’s roots is important, but there is also the matter of following industry trends to consider. The world of shipping and logistics is changing constantly, and with it, newer, faster and better ways of shipping management are coming.
Make sure that you pay close attention to what your competitors, partners and clients are working on when it comes to logistics. Even small changes in the way you handle shipments can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Being stubborn won’t however, so make sure that you are open to new ideas as they come along and follow the logistics and shipping market trends as much as possible.
Learning From Mistakes in Logistics
There will always be room for error when it comes to handling logistics in a small business environment. However, working on minimalizing that room for error is the constant job of every company executive.
Do everything you can to learn from mistakes in logistics, both your own and those of others. There is something to learn in every experience, so keep your eyes peeled for development opportunities as they come along.